UK Deputy High Commissioner to Kenya, Susie Kitchens, delivered a keynote speech on the penultimate day of the Pwani Innovation Week at the Swahilipot Hub yesterday.
The 5-day event is a consolidated effort by Swahilipot Hub and it’s partners to help create a widespread culture of innovation in the coastal counties of Kenya, aimed at stimulating the Innovation ecosystem in the Pwani region.
The Fund's Program and Learning Manager, @LindseyNjoki, with @SusieKitchens Deputy High Commissioner at the British High Commission, Nairobi and H. E @MajalaMlagui Deputy Governor, Taita Taveta County discussing the Fund's portfolio of successful projects #PwaniInnovationWeek pic.twitter.com/7Rw8EHGvCN
— FRP (@MCFoundationFRP) December 6, 2018
Addressing attendees, the Deputy High Commissioner said that now is an exciting time to be in Kenya with the country enjoying international appeal as the “Silicon Savannah” with “reputation for bright, disruptive innovators and a can-do hustle culture.”
“The UK wants to be a part of this bright future. We want you to innovate within – and disrupt from without. Our 200+ companies active here want to help build a country that is a strong, stable, prosperous partner,” she added.
Explaining how the British government can support, she explained how the UK is offering direct support to entrepreneurial hubs in Kenya.
“We recently launched ‘Village Capital’ which provides training and support to enterprise hubs. We also offer direct support to entrepreneurs through the Leadership in Innovation Fellowship Programme. This is a partnership between the UK and the Kenya National Innovation Agency,” the Deputy High Commissioner said.
— #PwaniInnovationWeek (@ckchivatsi) December 6, 2018
The UK also offers direct support to entrepreneurs through the Leadership in Innovation Fellowship Programme which is a partnership between Britain and the Kenya National Innovation Agency.
During a plenary session Ms Kitchens joined a discussion on how to build the culture of innovation in the Pwani region with key highlights being the importance of policies, collaboration and being purposeful in design the cultures in the ecosystems we build.
Speaking during this session, the British diplomat said that events like the Pwani Innovation Week, are really important as they create an environment where it is ok to ask.
“There are particular benefits grounded in the region; tailored to local skills, advantages and context,” she added.